What is aphasia?

Bruce Willis’ family has announced he will be stepping away from his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia.

"Our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities,” Rumer Willis wrote on Instagram in a joint statement Wednesday from Bruce Willis’ family.    

► Aphasia is a language disorder that occurs after damage to parts of the brain. ► Anyone can have aphasia, and it affects men and women equally. ► "Die Hard" and "Pulp Fiction" actor Bruce Willis' recently announced aphasia diagnosis highlighted the language disorder.

What we know about aphasia: 

Aphasia is a disorder that comes from damage to parts of the brain responsible for language, according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders.  

What is aphasia? 

Aphasia can affect the way a person expresses language and understands it. The disorder also can affect reading and writing. 

Men and women are affected equally by aphasia, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. 

Most people with aphasia are middle-aged or older. It is not known whether aphasia causes a total loss of language structure or complications in how language is accessed. 

Aphasia is caused by damage to “one or more of the language areas of the brain,” according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.  

What causes aphasia? 

A stroke is the cause of the injury to the brain most often, but other causes of brain injury include blows to the head, brain tumors, progressive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and more.